Akshay Kumar starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha was finally released on 11 August, 2017 and fans are going gaga over it. Ever since its announcement, the audience had been waiting eagerly to witness the romantic comedy that delves into the subject of open defecation.
Moreover, the recent debacle of Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma starrer ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal was another reason for which all eyes were on Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. And, we must say that the film has fulfilled all those expectations. It has become one of those few films of 2017 that is seeing a good run at the box office by crossing the 50 crores mark on its first weekend. It seems that when Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan failed to rule the market, Akshay is all set to take it over with these five key factors that makes the film a must watch.
Socially relevant message: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha explores the problems of open defecation and talks about the hardships women have to face because of this nationwide issue. The film is a satirical take on a battle against age old tradition of open defecation and is campaigning against the sanitation issue in India, hoping to spread the message of ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyaan’ across the nation. It also highlights the risk of getting raped or lynched due to such ill practices.
Based on a true story: Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, this film is inspired from the real life of Priyanka Bharti. The 19- year- old newly-wed ran away from her in-laws house two days after her marriage, because she could not defecate in the open. She gave rise to a huge revolution in many parts of the country. Priyanka came back to her in-laws house once the toilet was built.
A complete entertainer: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is an out and out entertainer. After churning superhits one after the other, Khiladi of the box office is back with a mass entertainer that can create an impact in the society with his social satire. The film has hinterland humour that could appeal to the masses. Thus, the film will educate and entertain the masses simultaneously.
Akshay Kumar: Akshay Kumar, the man himself gives us enough reasons to go and watch his film when it’s running in theatres. Be it comedy or serious drama, the actor has always spelt his charm leaving the audience with more expectations. Be it Baby, Rustom, Airlift, Jolly LLB 2 or Special 26, Akshay Kumar has proved his acting abilities again and again. But, with Toilet: Ek Prem Katha ‘Akki’ has taken the entertainment quotient to a whole new level with a script that was refused by many actors in the industry.
New on-screen pair: This is the first time that Akshay Kumar is pairing up with ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’ actress, Bhumi Pednekar. In this film, Bhumi plays the character of a strong headed bride, who walks out of his in-laws house since they do not have a toilet in the house. And, it’s needless to say that she has stolen hearts all over again after her debut film, ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’. The on-screen chemistry between Keshav and Jaya is quite interesting yet simple.
Jab Harry Met Sejal, one of the most anticipated Bollywood movies of 2017, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma has finally released today and it is nothing less than a festival for all the ‘Baadshah’ fans out there.
The Imtiaz Ali film was expected to be highly entertaining with the add-on magical essence by the ace director. But, somehow Jab Harry Met Sejal has failed to to give that magical impact, despite having certain quintessential Imtiaz Ali elements. The film has turned out to be a little less satisfactory than his previous works.
Anushka Sharma portrays the character named Sejal Jhaveri, who is a Gujarati self-claimed selfish woman. Sejal goes on a tour in Europe with her family and her faceless fiancée Rupen, who is seen only in the second half. During the tour, she loses her engagement ‘ring’ and having involved in a fight with Rupen, Sejal decides to stay back and search the ring.
Shah Rukh Khan a.k.a Harry or Harinder Singh Nehra is a Punjabi self-claimed ‘cheap’ and ‘womaniser’, who happens to be the tour guide of Sejal and her family. Eventually, Harry finds himself reluctantly stranded alongside Sejal in her quest to find the ring. On Sejal’s demand, the two decide to trace back the entire holiday and revisit all those places in hope of finding the ring. As the duo starts retracing the steps, they fall in love with each other amidst constant mushy fights over silly things. Throughout the film, the tagline ‘What you seek is seeking you’ plays as a constant reminder to its viewers.
When it comes to making a romantic film, Imtiaz Ali is a class apart. His films are always realistic and he never focuses on fantasy-romance. One can always relate to Imtiaz Ali’s films as the director always keeps his story real. But, this time, it’s a lengthy, lumbering, baggy and pointless love story.
The first part of the film is pretty interesting with some interesting comic elements. The slow build-up in the first half provides Shah Rukh Khan sufficient time to showcase his typical ‘lover boy’ skills and the ‘King of Romance’ surely gets the viewers’ hopes high as they witness the dimensions of his character. But, alas, the eventful moment doesn’t last long and the second half of the movie proves out to be highly disappointing. Imtiaz Ali has simply dragged the second part of the movie that eventually feels like consuming the same wine served in a different bottle.
However, when it comes to acting the actors have done good job. Anushka Sharma is marvelous. Sharma is no longer the Yash Raj debutante anymore and she lightens up the screen, standing all in her own tower of talent. Over all, she has done justice to her character with almost perfect Gujarati accent. Shah Rukh Khan as Harry is funny and relatable because for once, he’s not playing the over-the-top romantic lover character unlike his other romantic films. The SRK fans will get to see his trademark sense of humor but it’s got a sarcastic edge.
Music is one of the best things that you can expect from an Imtiaz Ali film. And, this film is not an exception. The songs titled ‘Radha‘, ‘Butterfly‘, ‘Beech beech mein’, ‘Safar‘, ‘Hawayein’ have all topped the music charts within weeks of its release. But, when you see them together in the film, the songs simply come and go. They don’t really register unless you go with your lovey-dovey partner and it a let-down too. People have a lot of expectations from the music as well because Ali has always given us some fabulous songs which work by way of telling us more about the story, about the people singing those songs, about their motivations.
Lastly, the frames of this film are really beautiful. Be it the picturesque locations of Prague, Amsterdam and Budapest or the rustic beauty of Punjab, Imtiaz Ali has unfolded the scenic beauty brilliantly through the lens. If only the film had a story substantial enough to hold the construct together and drive it forward, Jab Harry Met Sejal might have been a good watch.
But, before ending let me tell you that if you’re a fan of Anushka and Shah Rukh Khan, you would love Jab Harry Met Sejal. But if you’re a fan of Imtiaz Ali, you will surely yearn for more depth in terms of story and screenplay. So, if you are planning to watch Jab Harry Met Sejal this weekend…go ahead but don’t go in with any expectations and you should have a whale of a time.
“Dude why the hell is she shouting for no reason? Is she PMSing?”, “Why do you need a leave every month? How can you simply fall sick every month?”,”Dude, she is extremely cranky. I think it’s ‘that’ time of the month.”
I am sure, every girl has gone through these questions most of the times in their life, since men fail to understand that “that time of the month”, is called the menstrual cycle. And, the most important thing is that woman are taught not to speak out loud about it as it’s something that needs to be a hush-hush affair.
Periods, is an open secret that everyone is aware of because it’s the first step to bringing a new soul into this world. Women bleed because they have the capacity of holding, nurturing another human being in their womb and then giving birth to the new soul. According to the societal norms (no matter how modern is your society), a woman’s job is to give birth, but then this same society cannot accept the fact of her bleeding every month. Now, that is where the hypocrisy lies. Isn’t it?
Since a girl first gets her period, she is taught to act like a matured person, maintain a certain decency and to act normal. Now the question lies that how can you act normal by bleeding at least 4 days every month? When the pain is enormous and the blood loss is high, how can you expect someone to keep their mouth shut and not to even make the slightest of whispers, why? The society will come to know.
I remember when I first got my periods, my mother had asked me to stay away from my best friend, only because he was a guy. I was asked to be extra careful while wearing a white PT skirt because of the stains it might get. My friend was laughed on by all the boys in the class and shouted upon by a lady teacher only because she had stained her white skirt while playing basket ball. The humiliation was so much for her to take that since that day she has not touched the basket ball yet.
Well the question is very simple. Is it only the girls’ responsibility to maintain the decorum of the society? In a co-education school, the first lesson on reproduction is taught to both the genders isn’t it? Then why do we need to shy away from such a natural thing? Why can’t parents be more open about it with their children since education begins at home? The amount of rapes and molestation is increasing in our society all thanks to this open secrecy. Society blames a woman if she is raped the reason being even she has enjoyed it then how can that be rape? Oh yes! Why don’t we do something then? Let us also try inserting objects in your private parts and claim how come that be rape? Even you received pleasure out of it, isn’t that so?
Yes, during periods a woman or a girl does act cranky because that is when the hormones in the body change. For some, the pain increases so much that even using the toilet becomes a curse. And, mind you this is not once in a while, this is the story every month. That employee who takes leave every month once is because her stomach aches to an extent where she can’t even sit. According to doctors, this is the time when a woman’s body needs maximum rest. But, how can that happen? You are expected to come to work everyday. When you want to ask for a leave, you are asked questions to an extent that you are humiliated and oh at times you also get to listen: “This is so normal. Why are you even creating a fuss about it?”
But, thankfully a few companies are now changing this so called norms. Brands like Nike, have come up with menstrual leaves, where a woman can take a paid or an unpaid leave if she is unable to come to work due to menstruation. The labor laws of Asian countries like Japan, Indonesia, North Korea and Taiwan also state that woman are entitled to paid or unpaid leaves during their menstruation cycle for one or two days. Thankfully, even a Mumbai based company Culture Machine has come up with the first day leave for the woman to help them overcome the pain of periods.
Yes, leave for woman during “those days” is still a controversial topic and can affect their performance and also been seen as sexism. But, why can’t we just take an initiative for it. You never know this might help in improving the organisation in a better way and also save woman from such stupid remarks and comments. Let’s help our girls to be more confident, secured and happy. If, we can’t reduce the pain at least we can try reducing it and not humiliating a woman for the strength she has.
Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma’s Jab Harry Met Sejal is all set to hit the theatres across the globe on August 4. Fans have been going gaga about the film ever since the makers launched its poster with utmost glory. But, talking about romantic films, Bollywood as an industry that thrives on romantic flicks and Jab Harry Met Sejal seemed to be nothing new till the trailer was released. Although, the short teasers or the ‘mini trails’ were not that impressive but, the trailer actually gives a breath of freshness giving the king of romance a degree of cool quotient.
However, this Imtiaz Ali’s new film started garnering a lot of criticism because of the title ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ that is similar to the American romantic comedy named ‘Harry Met Sally’. But, now that everything is going well and it’s only one week left to witness the magic of Imtiaz Ali clubbed with the romance of Shah Rukh Khan, here we are to share 5 things with you that you can expect from Jab Harry Met Sejal.
A pure love story
The trailer introduces the two lead characters named Harry and Sejal to us. For the first time in his 25-year-long career, Shah Rukh Khan will be seen playing a Sardar, while Anushka dons a Gujarati kudi avatar. The tagline of the film says, “What you seek is seeking you” and it goes without saying that this line binds the lead characters together.
Shah Rukh Khan has always been known for his quintessential lover boy image that comes as the legendary Raj and/or Rahul, spreading his arms, in most of his films. But, I guess now it’s time to meet the other side of the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’. In Jab Harry Met Sejal, Shah Rukh a.k.a Harry, a tour guide in his own words, is ‘cheap’ and is a womaniser. He doesn’t hold back from flirting with woman or staring at them. We have always seen Shah Rukh as a soft-hearted romantic guy who can do no wrong, but this time it will be interesting to watch him portray the character of a lover who is not perfect, who is flawed.
Coming to Anushka Sharma, the viewers will get to see Anushka as a geeky (yet sexy) newly-engaged Gujarati girl in Jab Harry Met Sejal. Given a fact that Anushka is almost like a ‘Queen of Accents’, she has successfully portrayed the character with a perfect Gujarati accent in this film. Anushka is usually known for her ‘bindaas’ characters but it looks like this film will showcase a different side of her as Sejal.
When, it comes to Imtiaz’s films, the music is one aspect that always of top quality. And, this film is not an exception. Ever since the release of the song titled ‘Radha’, the film’s songs were music to our ears and soothing for our souls. As per reports, ‘Radha‘, ‘Butterfly‘, ‘Beech beech mein’, ‘Safar‘ have topped music charts within weeks of its release. On Wednesday, one more song titled ‘Hawayein’ was released and as expected people have already started liking it a lot. Apart from the soulful scores, the fun and peppy music breathes life into the film and help us understand the characters of Harry and Sejal on a personal level.
The magic of Imtiaz Ali
When it comes to making a romantic film, Imtiaz Ali is a class apart. His films are always realistic and he never focuses on fantasy-romance. One can always relate to Imtiaz Ali’s films as the director always keeps his story real. The ace-director has time and again proved his mettle with films that will be remembered for years to come, including Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met. Although his last film Tamasha starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone failed to meet up the expectations. After films like Rockstar, Tamasha or Highway, Jab Harry Met Sejal is expected to bring the director back to the light-hearted genre with this upcoming family entertainer.
The trailer has already displayed a sea of emotions and some powerful dialogues that evokes humour with dark undertone. Both Harry and Sejal have a layer of shades in their characters that would surely create curiousness among the audience to know more about the two.
The sizzling chemistry between Shah Rukh and Anushka
Shah Rukh and Anushka’s on-screen chemistry has always been appreciated be it Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The duo have been seen weaving amazing magic in their movies and this time the on-screen pair is back with Jab Harry Met Sejal. After the trailer, one can easily vouch for the sizzling chemistry between Anushka and Shah Rukh and hopefully it will not fail to meet up the expectations of the audience.
And, if these things are not enticing enough for guys then the lush locales of the film would surely excite you. Be it the picturesque location of Prague, Amsterdam and Budapest or the rustic beauty of Punjab, Imtiaz Ali has unfolded the scenic beauty brilliantly through the lens. So, buckle up and get your tickets to witness the amazing tale of Harry and Sejal. See you at the theatre!
I remember my fellow schoolmates finding history, language and literature very difficult and boring as those papers demanded “lengthy” answers. But, I wasn’t a part of that pack. I loved to write pages after pages; sometimes even while solving mathematic problems just to remember the steps, till I attended a certain age. So, here I am penning down my thoughts and sharing those with you.
We, Bengalis have a ritual called ‘Annaprashon’ (Rice Feeding Ceremony), where a new born is fed rice for the first time. An interesting component of the ritual is when the priest offers things like book, pen, money (and a few other things which I can’t recall) to the baby and it is believed that the kid would excel in the area related to the thing the baby picks up. I have been told that I picked up the Pen. As a result, my parents were elated thinking that I would excel in studies. However, the story turned out to be remarkably different.
Studies were a big no-no for me since nursery. I loved dancing. I can vividly remember my first stage performance at the age of five. I was being extremely angry when my costume was not fitting me well. Little did I know that the dresser would use the same dress for a five-year-old and a 15-year-old. Tears rolled down my bubbly cheeks, till my teacher came and dressed me up with her childhood dress. Oh, how I miss those pampering!
We were seven people in the family, and we stayed in a small two-and-a-half room of a rented house at that time. My mother had a deep regret that we did not have a roof of our own. My brother and I, however, never felt the absence of our own house. We had a very caring neighbour and we used to spend hours at their place. The neighbour had two daughters, who also happened to be my mother’s students. I do not know what they dreaded more: Mom giving them mathematic lessons or me styling their hair with a display of novice skills. Now, when I see small kids do such things to me, I realise how much the sisters loved me. Yes, I miss their love!
I was treated like I was the gem of my family. I was very dear to my uncles and my grand-mother. Although, I didn’t get to spend much time with her, but, I made sure to extract as much love as possible from my uncles. Neither of them ever shied away from fulfilling my wishes. As someone who loves to gorge on chaats to this day, my childhood was a plate full of fuchkas, aloo-kabli and churmur. It was a routine for my uncles to sneak in chaats for me, without my Mom noticing it. I used to have biriyani as often as a ‘normal’ person would have daal-bhaat. I distinctly remember the day when I first learnt to write Bengali alphabets on computer: it was like magic for a nursery kid. Yes, I miss that magic!
Meanwhile, my relationship with my father was a bit different. One of the funniest incidents with my Dad was right towards the end of my winter vacations. The night before the school was supposed to re-open, I asked my Dad to get me New Year greeting cards for my friends. He promised to get them the next day. But, I was extremely angry with him. “How could he say that he would get me cards the ‘next day’ when I wanted them right away?” Disappointed, I took out my language notebook and turned to the page where I had penned the essay about ‘My Father’. I quickly changed some words around and soon the “best father” had become the “worst father”. I never knew, until I had grown up, that it had hurt him so much that he got me the cards the same night. And, yes of course, I had immediately updated the essay again and my father was back with his winners title of the “best father”. Frankly, I was very scared of him, mostly because I knew I could never meet his expectations. I remember the day when while dropping me to school, he said that he dreamt of me going to the US some day. Poor me, he never knew how upsetting it was for me to think that his dream would never come true. But as they say, sometimes, the wishes of your parents can turn into blessings for you. Now at the age of 26, I can proudly call myself a ‘US-return’. Credit goes to you, Dad. Thank you for holding onto me with conviction and putting me on the right track. Yes, I miss his decisions now!
Mom, if there is anyone in this world whom I can dedicate my success and achievements, it is only you. You consoled me whenever I broke down. And, you continue to do the same even today. I hated the thought that maths was most important to you, even more important than me (as I thought at that time). But, today I realize that it is always good to have something inanimate in your life, may be ahead of a human, because it might turn out to be the only shelter where you can turn to in times of distress. Words wouldn’t suffice if I keep writing about you, so let me just say; I may not be a good daughter but, you will always remain the best Mom in this world. And yes, I miss you, Maa!
Here I am, letting the wonderful people in my life know how much they mean to me and how their love and affection have shaped me to what I am today. In this fast paced life, we often forget to stop and thank the next person, who helped us to grow. So, people take a moment out of your busy schedule and thank those important people in your life. There are many wonderful people in your life; thank them for the love, the care and most importantly, for the time they have shared with you. As you know that you can pay back everything, but not time!
“The fact that Dunkirk does not end in surrender or annihilation is what makes it the greatest story in human history” – Christopher Nolan
To some, Nolan is a god, to some, he is an innovator and to a few he is the one pushing the boundary. One thing is for sure: every movie is unique, something you’ve never experienced before. And, Dunkirk is no different. The moments spent in anticipation before a new Christopher Nolan are nerve-wracking as those spent watching the film. You are glued to your seat with an irresistible energy that buzzes through your body as you collapse into your seat.
Dunkirk – a hypnotic mix of apprehension, panic, unsettled, and touch of positivity
The movie narrates a historical tale that revolves around the army evacuation of the Allied soldiers at the Dunkirk beach during World War II, a time when Germany was having an upper hand over UK and France. The evacuation is shown through four different perspectives.
It is an existential evacuation story set across three parallel plots destined to collide, which in turn are set on three planes of existence – earth, air, and water. First one is through one English soldier Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), who desperately tries to escape from the beach along with two other soldiers, a silent Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and Alex (Harry Styles). Then there is Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh), who is overseeing the evacuation but is frustrated to see the rescue ships being destroyed by the enemies. Third subplot centres around one of the rescue trawlers commissioned by UK to save the soldiers. The boat is captained by one Dawson (Mark Rylance), along with his son and his friend. On the way to Dunkirk, they rescue a lone survivor (Cillian Murphy) from a sunken U-boat, who suffers from PTSD. The final track is about Farrier (Tom Hardy) a gutsy pilot who has two enemies to fight – enemy planes and a depleting fuel.
Pressure and anxiety mount as you see three different timelines grow closer and eventually collides. The movie concludes with hope!
Dunkirk – a path breaker
There have been really good movies in the war genre, starting from Oliver Stone’s Platoon, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge and of course, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. But, it would not be wrong to say that Dunkirk surpasses them all. The movie is based on the concept of ‘a pump fast viewing’. The movie leaves no imagination for backstory and it does not let the audience to sympathize with the character. It begins in ‘the event itself’, so you are hooked with the first shot itself. The film makes you feel for the event and relentless pain of the soldiers stuck, not focusing on an individual character. He makes you feel for the situation rather than the person and accomplishes with sheer brilliance.
If you are cinema lover, then watching Dunkirk is must
To begin with, I will point out that this is perhaps the only film that I have viewed makes you feel terrorised without even showing much bloodshed compared to other stalwart films of the genre. However, it will make you suffocate. The moment of silence is violently broken by thunderous walls of noise. You will be forced to be your seat. Being 1 hour 46 minutes, this is Nolan’s shortest film in recent years and every minute of it leaves you breathless. And, I mean it literally. Like the characters of this movie, even you would be gasping for air at the many claustrophobic moments in the narrative. The movie doesn’t follow a linear pattern, which springs a surprise on you at certain junctures of the movie just like his earlier work in Memento.
Hans Zimmer’s colossal score
Amidst different time zones and stories of the plots and sub-plots, Nolan uses Zimmer’s music as the constant character. The duo designed the ‘tik-tok’ sound of a bomb ticking for the background score of the film, which runs almost throughout the film. The film has fewer dialogues and the sound composition assimilates the tension for the audience. The music will haunt you, while, the sound effects will make you feel that you are right in the middle of the attack. Hans Zimmer’s background is another winner, his score is simply remarkable.
The IMAX factor
Nolan has mastered the art of IMAX by working with it for almost 10 years. Every movie of his breaks new shackles and this one is no different. Every scene is artfully constructed. Watching it at the IMAX is the best option to experience the Nolan magic. Like every other movie of Nolan, ‘time’ is a very significant part of this film too. Herein the IMAX camera usage becomes even more important. The cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema is amazeballs, especially in how they shot all those aerial plane fights.
The movie essentially has one hero that is Nolan, who is backed by hard working technicians. In regard to acting performance, everyone has performed their characters very well. Nolan perhaps has given more camera time to new ones rather than already established ones. The ‘direction’ fans will be glad to know that Harry Styles hasn’t disappointed at all and he has a promising career in acting ahead. Tom Hardy is again relegated behind a mask after The Dark Knight Rises, but he lets his eyes do the talking. Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan and Cillian Murphy were all brilliant in their roles.
Breaking the notion
The movie is a unique project and there are certain problems in that. It challenges the already established notion. Unlike other war movies, this film does not dwell much on characters or back story, so it might be a hindrance for audiences adopted to a set standard of movie presentation. But, if anybody had the guts to break the tradition it had to be Nolan. Secondly, there will be no area of grey in regard to the likeness of the film, either you will love it or hate it. Either you will be constantly in between or not at all. These mentioned hindrances are not the negative points only viewing restraint that might occur for viewers.
Why to watch Dunkirk
If the above-mentioned pointers are not enough to you then let me tell you that Dunkirk does not dwell on the horror of war instead conveys sheer terror of it that is all human moments and thunderous sequences on conflict. The film focuses not on the victory but, on the power of small acts of decency and bravery of those, who survived and also those who did not. In the end ‘Survival is Victory’.
The film has been already been called a masterpiece and it truly justifies it. Go watch it in IMAX you will be amazed. It’s Oscar Calling…